After the recent statement of Art Basel Global Director Marc Spiegler about the Art galleries’ difficulties and the debates on the matter, Artsy puts the Collectors’ role in the spotlight.
The galleries’ difficulties
The closing of several galleries and its difficulties have been fueling a great debate in the international Fine Arts market over the past few years. The main leaders of this market expressed their opinions on the matter during the main Art fairs and dedicated panel discussions organized by the most important international newspapers. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal organized “The Future is Everything” festival during which Larry Gagosian and Edward Dolman had a discussion about the topic. Also, as explained in the article published by Art-Trope, Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s Global Director explained that “compared to 10 years ago, there’s not one aspect of doing business as a mid-level gallery that’s easier than it was before”. In fact, the galleries have to face expenses even greater, which is partly the result of its participation to numerous international Art fairs. Also, when one of the represented Artists grows in terms of visibility, the Biennials and museum exhibitions’ participation fees are often to be paid by the galleries.
The Collectors of tomorrow
According to a recent study published by US Trust, a Bank of America branch, women and Millennials are changing the Collector’s face as explained in Art-Trope’s article. Indeed, Millennials represent 36% of the people in the survey and 78% of them bought Art online in 2018. Also, 14% of the wealthiest women own Art and 16% of them are interested in becoming Collectors. Concurrently, the study shows a change in the Collectors’ behavior, highlighting the financial aspect of collecting Art. Indeed, among the people questioned in the survey, they are 35% more wanting to sell their acquisitions quickly to make profit. Such a drift impacts more the emerging galleries that support young creation because such investments are more risky for a Collector.
The Collectors’ support to galleries and creation
Artsy made an investigation during the Art Basel international Art fair asking questions to the exhibitors about the way Collectors could support galleries and its Artists. As a result, Alex Freedman from Freedman Fitzpatrick based in Paris and Los Angeles, explains that Collectors who “support certain types of museum shows, certain projects which [they] don’t anticipate any kind of return on,” can make a difference when it comes to early-stage Artists. That way, it would prevent certain Collectors who “buy works [from] then complaining that the Artist isn’t able to develop”. An Artist is like a Start-Up and therefore needs regular small investments to grow. Some initiatives have seen the light of the day to encourage Collectors to become more responsible. It is the case for “Collect Wisely” launched by Sean Kelly whose multimedia campaigns are meant to suggest Collectors to be less financially driven in the way they collect.
Read our article about the 2018 Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles 2018 here.